Cerf on the internet: times they are a-changin'

'This year and the next year are probably the most significant years for Internet's evolution that I can remember,' said Vint Cerf, chief Internet evangelist at Google and often referred to as the father of the internet.

He was quoted speaking at Internetdagarna (The Internet Days) conference in Stockholm, by IDG News Service .

He said the biggest change would be the move to IPv6, which will give the Internet a much larger address space and enable growth. The current estimate is that the number of available IPv4 addresses will be exhausted around the middle of 2010, according to Cerf.

Cerf was also quoted by IDG saying that the lack of addresses, and the IPv4 32-bit address space, is his fault: 'My only defence is that decision was made in 1977, at a time when it was uncertain if the Internet would work.' He added that a 128-bit address space seemed excessive back then.

The importance of the domain name system security using DNSSEC (Domain Name System Security Extensions) was also highlighted.

According to IDG, Cerf said," The idea here is to improve the assurance that when you do a domain name hookup you get back the IP address that was intended, as opposed to something that was modified by a hacker.'

He also pointed to the addition of internationalised domain names (the support for non-Latin character sets) to make the internet a more truly global place. Languages such as Arabic, Cyrillic, Hebrew, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and so on, will all become a part of the domain name systems vocabulary, according to Cerf.